My Son's Loyal Friend Frank In the Powder Room

My Son’s Loyal Friend Frank

She’s the mother of four (yes, four) boys. Spoiler alert: penis.


We were on our way to school when I demanded an apology from my four sons. They had been particularly awful that morning. Fighting, spitting, streaking, just your average morning in our house but we were running late because of it.

Each took their turn to apologize.
No. 1 “I’m sorry I didn’t pack my lunch.”
No. 2 “I’m sorry I spit on my shoe.”
No. 3 “I’m sorry I didn’t get dressed quickly.”
No. 4 “I’m sorry you don’t have a penis.”

(An empathetic sigh was heard from his three brothers.)

Because I don’t have a penis I have been labeled the black sheep of our family. It is a really big deal. The first time my oldest son discovered this was in a busy truck stop bathroom. There was absolutely no way I was going to let him stand outside and wait for me so I made him accompany me into the large stall. I instructed him to face the wall. He didn’t. As I hovered over the disgusting toilet he screamed, “Are you peeing out of your butt?” “No!” I said trying to calm him down. “ What is that?” My six-year-old’s eyes glazed over, he was showing signs associated with PTVD (Post Toilet Va-Jay-Jay Discovery).

That moment in the bathroom is folklore in our family. The story has been told by our oldest to each of his brothers by a campfire. They question its validity, and wonder if it is possible that someone could not have a penis and survive. In the unfortunate event when they have seen me naked, their reaction is the same as if they came across a mutation.

However when they see my husband naked they seem to overlook the fact that they are face to face with a real life Gonzo. Gonzo is an attention hog. I cannot tell you how many times he pops up in an effort to impress me. I will let you know if that ever happens.

A man’s fascination with his genitalia starts in the womb. I have sonogram photos where it is clear that the baby was attempting to flash his friend for the camera. It is the first topic of discussion. To circumcise or not to circumcise, that is the question. The first conversation my son ever heard was about his penis. Throughout toddlerhood he didn’t need toys, he had one attached to him. It is often the source of comic relief if our dinner conversations ever get dull.

There isn’t a day that goes by that the word penis doesn’t cross my lips. And just like a favorite toy I am always asking them to put it away. There is a special bond between a boy and his penis that can never be beat. Well . . . at least not in the metaphorical sense. And I must admit, they are loyal companions. Who else can say that they have a friend that stands at attention every morning when they wake up?

Not me.


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Noelle Elliott is a publicist for a large university in the Midwest by day and writer by night. She is also a relatively good wife and proud mother of four crazy boys. She is the creator of The Mamalogues, Dramas from Real Mamas, a staged production of readings by women, which has sold-out audiences. She is a regular contributing writer for Family and Sassy magazines. In addition, she writes a popular blog,, where she shares her triumphs, failures and journey of survival in a life surrounded by testosterone. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @BowChicaBowMom.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. Lisa Hewitt says

    Literally laughing out loud! 4 boys – literally blessing your heart…

  2. says

    Every day I learn something more about the male body part that baffles me. Like it sticks to things. I will leave that to your imaginations.

  3. says

    True, there are disadvantages to not having a penis (see-peeing in the woods), but we innies have the biggest advantage of all: being the bosses of everything.

    Your description of the boys’ empathetic sigh, was my very favorite part. I picture them nodding their heads and muttering, “Such a shame.”

  4. says

    I’m the penis-less black sheep of my family too. Solidarity. When you were in the bathroom stall, did he make sure to shout it extra loudly? I love it when they do that. Mine were like “Why do you have hair down there?” nice and loud, so half of Jersey could hear it.

  5. Dennuse says

    I have 3 boys and you’re so right about from the womb. During an ultrasound on my middle son you could tell he was grasping his penis. Not that there was much else for him to play with in there.